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Opus Dei, an official institution of the Catholic Church, at the top is a secret society of international bankers, financiers, businessmen and their supporters. Their goal is the same as other plutocrats – unbridled power – except they use the influence of the Catholic Church and its worldwide network of institutions exempt from both taxes and financial reporting requirements to advance rightwing parties and governments.

A year after Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s elevation as head of the Church and his many appointments, the dust has settled. Three cardinals have emerged as the most powerful in this papacy; all have close ties to Opus Dei. Two now control all Vatican finance.

Still the most exhaustively researched book written about “The Work” as it is referred to by its members, Their Kingdom Come (1997, 2006) by Robert Hutchison, a Canadian financial journalist, traces the growth of Opus Dei financial power “by all available means” - deception, dirty tricks, even “physical muscle” like poisonings which mimic heart attacks. “What gives Opus Dei its importance is the influence it wields and also that it deploys its immense financial resources…Opus Dei knows very well that money rules the world,” Javier Sainz Moreno, professor of Law at Madrid University, told Hutchison. One of their goals was to control the Vatican’s wealth, now closer than ever to being realized.  

Like many religious cults, the members at the bottom are sincere believers that Opus Dei is the path for personal holiness. Many are “numeraries,” men and women vowed to celibacy who live in communal residences and hand over their earnings to the organization. This creates workers totally dedicated to their assigned tasks, assures a steady stream of revenue and makes it difficult for members to leave. “Supernumeraries” are married and live independently but are still required to make large contributions and send their children to Opus Dei schools if available. At all levels, the names of the lay members are secret unless self-disclosed. Opus Dei also has an order of publicly identified priests and prelates.

Opus Dei's only "charity" is founding schools, mostly business schools and student centers at the world’s leading universities to train and recruit a continuous supply of professionals dedicated to Opus Dei/Catholic goals. Opus Dei is “significantly connected to 479 universities and high schools,” according to journalist Michael Walsh based on a confidential report submitted to the Vatican in 1979.  

Opus Dei’s flagship university is in Navarre, Spain. Its graduate business school, IESE, founded in 1958, “has growing alliances in key areas such as Latin America, China and Eastern Europe, campuses in Barcelona, Madrid, and New York City and teaching facilities in Munich and Sao Paulo,” according to a 2012 report in the Economist. They also operate a global network of MBA schools per Bloomberg.  

Probably Opus Dei’s largest financial institution is Banco Santander S.A., “the largest bank in the Eurozone by market value and one of the largest banks in the world in terms of market capitalization.”  Santander funds Opus Dei schools. "Santander's interest in higher education is a deep interest, long term, because we understand that at the university are studying the leaders who will run the country in the future,” explained a company official.  

“Opus Dei pursues the Vatican’s agenda through the presence of its members in secular governments and institutions and through a vast array of academic, medical, and grassroots pursuits. Its constant effort to increase its presence in civil institutions of power is supported by growth in the organization as a whole….Their work in the public sphere breaches the church-state division that is fundamental to modern democracy,” wrote Gordon Urquhart author of The Pope’s Armada: Unlocking the Secrets of Mysterious and Powerful New Sects in the Church (1995).

“It's widely known that Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas belong to Opus Dei - and that Chief Justice John Roberts may also be a member,” stated Matthew Fox, a former priest, progressive theologian and author of more than 23 books.

“They're in the CIA, the FBI,” said Fox. “Daniel Ellsberg recently told me that some of the ranking commanders of our military are also Opus Dei,” Fox stated in another interview. Veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh made a similar observation. “Hersh stated that Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Vice Admiral William McRaven and others in the Joint Special Operations Command (the group responsible for the assassination of Osama Bin Laden) were members of the Knights of Malta and Opus Dei. ‘They see themselves as protecting [Christians] from the Muslims….And this is their function.' Hersh added that members of these societies have developed a secret set of insignias that represent ‘the whole notion that this is a culture war between religions.'”  

The New York Times noted in 2012 that an Opus Dei boy’s prep school “has become the popular school for a small clique of Washingtonians”: Rick Santorum; lobbyist and former U.S. Senator (R-FL), Mel Martinez; Sect. of Defense Chuck Hagel; the infamous FBI spy and Opus Dei member Robert Hanssen’s boss, former FBI director Louis J. Freeh; NOM founder Maggie Gallagher and National Review editor Kate O’Beirne.  

Fox said that both Santorum and Newt Gingrich are members but that doesn’t guarantee Opus Dei/Catholic Church backing. These organizations will support whichever Republican candidate has the best chance of winning regardless of his religious affiliation. That’s why the endorsement by five former U.S. ambassadors to the Vatican of Mitt Romeny in early January 2012 before the primaries signaled that “big money” had already chosen the GOP presidential nominee.  

Robert P. George, a Princeton University professor closely associated with Opus Dei, changed the landscape of U.S. politics. Neocon politico Deal Hudson stated that "If there really is a vast, right-wing conspiracy, its leaders probably meet in George's basement." Referred to by the New York Times as “the country’s most influential conservative Christian thinker,” it was George's study conducted in the late 1990s showing that allegiance to the Republican Party depended not so much on religious affiliation as the frequency of church attendance which Karl Rove used to direct support for George W. Bush into pulpits, church bulletins, parking lot pamphlets and mailing lists taken from parish rosters.

After the Religious Right lost the 2008 Presidential Election, it was George who drafted the November 2009 Manhattan Manifesto introducing the theme of “religious liberty” as the new battle cry for the 150 Christian leaders who signed it. “We see [the struggle for religious liberty] in the use of antidiscrimination statutes to force religious institutions, businesses, and service providers of various sorts to comply with activities they judge to be deeply immoral....We view [restrictions on the free exercise of religion] as an ominous development, the overweening authority of the state,” they declared.

George is NOM (National Organization for Marriage) board chairman emeritus. “NOM, the Catholic Church and Knights of Columbus are responsible for funding nearly 65 percent of all anti-equality efforts in Minnesota, Maryland, Washington State and Maine.”

Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) and supernumerary declared last month that liberal and women’s studies professors should be “taken out and shot.” He had previously called for the murder of Hillary Clinton.  

Opus Dei Influence in the Vatican (It’s the Money, Stupid)

The emptying of church pews in Europe has been reported for decades. In the U.S. Catholics are roughly 22-24 percent of the population. The latest poll conducted in Feb. 2014 by the Public Religion Research Institute showed that the percentage of Catholics who are non-Hispanic white is down to 60 percent. Of those, the majority (58 percent) attended Mass only a few times a year, seldom or never. Considering the lower average income of Latinos and that around 90 percent of Sunday collections remain in the parish, it is not the people in the pew providing the funding for Catholic organizations to mount scores of court challenges to Obamacare (at what cost to taxpayers?), lobby against women’s health care and same-sex marriage legislation, obstruct every state’s expansion of statutes-of-limitations which would favor survivors of child sex abuse nor pay almost $3 billion in legal costs and settlements to the Church's victims of sex abuse in the past eight years.  

Nor can the Vatican maintain its inestimable wealth from Third World Catholics.

After a year of concentrated activity to make sure his assets are better managed and under his control, including the creation of four commissions, the hiring of six international consulting firms which service the plutocracy together with appointments of trusted allies, Pope Francis established the Secretariat of the Economy this past Feb. 24.

He appointed Australian Cardinal George Pell as its head reporting directly to him. With “authority over all economic and administrative activities within the Holy See and the Vatican City State,” this makes Pell de facto manager of the entire Roman Curia since he holds the purse strings.

After becoming an archbishop, Pell invited Opus Dei  to establish themselves in Melbourne and then Sydney. Under Pell’s patronage, “Opus Dei's star is on the rise, it is said, and that of others - including other more established groups within the Church - is sinking,” Sydney Morning Herald’s religious affairs columnist wrote in January 2002. This reporter saw “signs of a new elitism….a clerical culture is being encouraged in which there is a highly select ‘in’ crowd around Pell.”  

Pell has maintained a close relationship with Australia’s conservative PM, Tony Abbott, and his party for decades. Days before Pope Bergoglio appointed Pell on April 13, 2013, to his “G8” group of cardinals who would advise the pope on “governing the Church,” Pell attended a “Gala Dinner” celebrating the Melbourne-based Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) an “ultraconservative think tank.” Rupert Murdoch was guest of honor and Abbott the keynote speaker. (Murdoch was awarded a papal knighthood by Pope John Paul II for “promoting the interests of society, the Church and the Holy See.")  

From Bergoglio's point of view, Pell has sound business experience. “[Pell’s] archdiocese's assets have nearly doubled since 2004 to over $1 billion at the end of 2013....Since Pell became archbishop in 2001 the archdiocese has paid out $6.8 million to settle 82 claims for sex abuse according to figures provided by the archdiocese's business manager - an average of $83,200 each," reported one Australian newspaper. “The disturbing consequence of this strategy, adopted widely in the Catholic Church, is that Catholic leaders effectively accepted that human worth can be measured by economic price. They accepted that the priority of the Church lay in the market where its task was to preserve and enhance its financial resources,” noted another Australian publication.

Pell is permanently relocating to Rome and will probably reside in the "grand apartment" he has used in the past at the Australian Church's guest house in Rome recently refurbished at a cost of “between $30 million and $85 million.”

As regards clerical sex abuse, Pell said the Church had been a victim of "smears," and he had refused communion to gay and lesbian parishioners. All Bergoglio’s appointees share his worldviews.

Along with the Secretariat of the Economy, the pope also created a new Council for the Economy which “will consider policies and practices and to prepare and analyze reports on the economic-administrative activities of the Holy See.” This council is comprised of eight prelates and seven laymen “reflecting various parts of the world.” As we have seen a year after the pope named his G8 “from the five continents of the world” only those close to Opus Dei have advanced in power; the rest have hardly been heard from since. Tokenism is becoming evident in all of Bergoglio’s group appointments. By all accounts, all power rests firmly in the pope and those close to him.

The Council for the Economy will be coordinated by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, another member of Bergoglio’s G8. Marx was the invited speaker for 300 guests of Opus Dei at a meeting held in the Deutsche Bank, Germany’s central bank. He has presided at Masses celebrating Opus Dei’s founder, Josemaria Escrivá, and visits the Opus Dei center for university students in Munich.

The Work is said to be very powerful in Germany’s financial capital of Frankfurt. Der Speigel observed that “There is hardly a German bishop who does not regard the organization with favor."

After his appointment as coordinator of the Council for the Economy, Marx told the press that the Vatican’s “real bank” would no longer be the IOR (Institute for Religious Works commonly referred to as the Vatican Bank) but will be the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), the department which, up to now, has primarily managed the humongous Vatican securities and property holdings. Whether or not this decision is a result of pressure from financial regulators on Bergoglio and his predecessor to “clean up” the IOR or else the bank would be prohibited from engaging in international transactions, remains to be seen.

Opus Dei/Vatican may have been preparing for this shift under the guidance of Peter Sutherland, managing director and chairman of Goldman Sachs International, former chairman of BP Oil and member of the International Advisory Board of IESE, the flagship Opus Dei graduate business school. Sutherland has been a Vatican consultant for years and was appointed by Bergoglio to the supervisory board for APSA.

In the event that APSA comes under the same regulatory pressures as the IOR, Banco Santander already “offered its availability” to the Vatican months ago. I suspect that this Opus Dei banking group will handle any Vatican financial dealings which, if exposed, would threaten the carefully constructed public image of Pope Francis since it already has the reputation of being ethnically-challenged. (see “Banco Santander S.A.Fined $200 Million for Advice Failings,” “Banco Santanger, The Epitome of Bankster Evil” and “Huge Eurobank, rated ‘Britain’s worst,’ now accused of gouging U.S. consumers.”)

One of the seven cardinals in addition to Marx named to the Council for the Economy is Houston’s Daniel N. DiNardo. The rest come from Peru, France, Mexico, Italy, Hong Kong and South Africa. As with so many of the pope's other appointments, three of the cardinals have “words and deeds regarding clergy sex crimes and cover ups” which are “deeply troubling”: DiNardo, Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico and Wilfrid Fox Napier of South Africa.  

Latin America

Houston is the center of the U.S. petro-chemical industry. In 2007, Archbishop DiNardo was elevated to the rank of cardinal – the first American city to be so recognized for its importance since Los Angeles was given a cardinal in 1952. The current prelate of the Los Angeles archdiocese, Jose Gomez, headed the Opus Dei regional headquarters in Houston. Gomez was appointed to lead the Church in Los Angeles the same month (April 2010) that Archbishop Thomas Wenski, who had given the invocation at the 2008 Republican National Convention, was put in charge of Miami.

The plutocracy now had the right hierarchs to represent their interests in three U.S. cities with close commercial ties to Latin America.

With “vast oil reserves,” in Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Guatemala, Cuba looking to increase foreign investment and a pope from Argentina, Latin America will be an increasingly important area of “evangelization” for the Church.

Catholic reporter Rocco Palmo referred to a group who met in Mexico City as the “A-list prelates.” The meeting held this past November was cosponsored by the Knights of Columbus, and Supreme Knight Carl Anderson addressed the group.  Attendees included:

  • Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, coordinator of the G8, has become the pope’s right-hand man, “some might say vice pope.” Rodríguez Maradiaga is “the leader of Opus Dei” in Honduras which “participated actively in the 2009 coup against the constitutional [and progressive] president, Manuel Zelaya.” “Active members of this clan are making intromissions in Honduran national politics.” “Honduras now has the highest homicide rate in the world fueled by the drug trade and government corruption. Only 2 percent of murders are solved.” Rodríguez Maradiaga blamed "the Jews"for the scandal arising from clerical crimes.  
  • Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the only American on the G8, is a faithful supporter of Opus Dei and has sponsored the canonization of the priest who “established an Opus Dei presence among students and professors at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology” between 1946 and 1956. Metropolitan Boston now has more than eighty colleges and universities attracting thousands of students from around the world. Like Cardinal Marx, O’Malley celebrates special Masses commemorating Opus Dei founder, Josemaria Escriva, and visits the Opus Dei (male only) center at Harvard.
  • Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet was reconfirmed by Bergoglio as president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. Prior to Pope Ratzinger’s departure to Mexico and Cuba in 2012, Ouellet said, “Latin America is recognized as a leader on the current international scene....Aren’t Latin American countries going through economic processes involving exportation to various markets on the one hand, and attracting foreign capital on the other?”  The week after Ratzinger returned to Rome, Mexican President Felipe Calderon met with Cuban President Raul Castro and Havana Cardinal Jaime Ortega to discuss “deepening the dialogue on trade and investment between the two countries,” including “the extraction of shared oil resources” in the Gulf of Mexico.  
  • Laymen Guzmán Carriquiry Lecour, reconfirmed by the pope as secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, is a member of Opus Dei, Bergoglio’s “close friend” and “highest ranking layman at the Vatican.” Having been founded in Spain, Latin America was the first target of Opus Dei expansion in the 1950s.
  • Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput is to be host to the pope’s October 2015 trip to the U.S.  House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has invited the pope to address the full Congress and Pres. Obama invited him to the White House. The pope’s visit is a “thank you” for Chaput’s exemplary service to the plutocracy as leader of the U.S. bishops’ assault against Kerry in 2004 and Obama in 2008. As head of the Denver archdiocese until 2011, Chaput gained the support of local moguls, turned out faithfully Republican priests from his two seminaries, obstructed justice for victims of clerical sex abuse and founded a nationwide campus ministry and influential media empire.  
  • Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron might seem like an odd choice until we remember that Wojtyla removed the Cayman Islands, where the Vatican has its own financial facilities, from its geographical diocese of Kingston, Jamaica, and put it under the authority of his close ally, Detroit Cardinal Adam Maida. The Cayman Islands remained attached to the Detroit archdiocese after Maida’s death. Similarly, the Turks and Caicos Islands, another offshore haven for those who wish to hide their fortune from tax collectors and regulators, are a “mission” of Opus Dei Cardinal John Myers of Newark. The chancellor for this territory, Bishop Peter Baldacchino, was just moved from Newark to Wenski’s Miami archdiocese.  
  • Peruvian Opus Dei Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, also named to the Council for the Economy and the most senior Opus Dei hierarch, was present to “welcome” Gomez as archbishop of San Antonio in 2005 and to Los Angeles in 2010.

The prelate of Wall Street, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Wenski and Gomez were also present at the November meeting in Mexico City. In January, Bergolgio named Rodriguez Maradiaga, Cipriani Thorne and Gomez as additional members of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. Also in January, the pope gave the annual “state of the world” address to diplomats assigned to the Vatican and it was “noted with interest, even astonishment, that Europe was barely mentioned beyond its role as a destination for poor migrants.”  

Laymen appointed to the Council for the Economy

Pope Bergoglio has verbally attacked the global economic system as based on a “god called money,” and has urged international financiers to break down “the barriers of individualism and the slavery of profit at all cost.” Yet again and again, Bergoglio has appointed those who labor for the plutocracy to manage his own wealth. Widely reported as “cleaning up” Vatican finances, the pope has never appointed any forensic accountants or other specialists from any law enforcement or government regulatory agency whose expertise is curbing unethical/illegal finance to advise him about the notoriously dishonest Vatican finances. The seven laymen on the Council for the Economy reflect this.

  • Joseph F.X. Zahra, coordinator for the laymen, is a former director of the Central Bank of Malta, former chairman of Bank of Valletta plc., Maltacom plc., and Middlesea Insurance plc.
  • Jean-Baptiste de Franssu is chairman of INCIPIT, a mergers and acquisitions consulting firm. He was CEO of Invesco Europe, an investment management company.
  • John F. Kyle retired in 2008 as vice president and treasurer of Imperial Oil Ltd., Exxon Mobil’s Canadian subsidiary.
  • Enrique Llano Cueto was an audit partner of KPMG and then lead partner responsible for major clients in the public and private sectors. (See KPMG Facilitated the Financial Fiasco”)
  • Jochen Messemer is a former partner of McKinsey & Company (1993-2003). (See the list of criticisms resulting from McKinsey's advice to the world’s largest firms) He is chairman of the board of Ergo International Ltd.  
  • Francesco Vermiglio was a board member for Banco di Sicilia and Bank of Valletta (Malta).
  • George Yeo was Minister of Finance for Singapore and a Brigadier-General in the Singapore Armed Forces. He was a visiting scholar to Peking University and remains a visiting scholar at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. He is on the advisory board of Harvard Business School and Opus Dei’s graduate IESE Business School.

Yeo’s appointment, along with Hong Kong Cardinal John Tong Hon, to the Council for the Economy indicates Opus Dei/Vatican’s increasing interest in the Pacific Rim. South Korean Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung was just elevated by Bergoglio to cardinal and the pope is scheduled to visit South Korea to participate in Asian Youth Day this August.

Paul Bui Van Doc was recently named archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City in the hope that he “may ease the relationship between the Holy See and Vietnam,” one of the few countries which doesn’t have diplomatic relations with the Church. Bui Van Doc has encouraged dialogue between the two governments. On March 22, the pope met with Nguyen Sinh Hung, president of the Vietnam parliament.

Opus Dei has been in Tokyo since 1958, Hong Kong 1981 and Singapore 1982. The Work “embraced” South Korea and Vietnam in 2008.  

Sex Abuse Commission

Cardinal O’Malley was named to Bergoglio’s new commission on child sex abuse which was announced in December. Details were withheld until the day before Pres. Obama left for his trip to Europe which would include a visit with the pope. (Gerald Slevin, a rare independent Catholic blogger, made this “catch.” Please read his perceptive and astute "Pope Picks Abuse Panel On Eve Of President Obama’s Visit".)  

Five women were also named to this commission including one who was raped by a priest when she was 13. As victim’s advocate Fr. Thomas Doyle stated, the new commission is “another promise waiting to be broken”:

[Fr. Hans] Zollner said the commission will look into Church law to see what has worked then make recommendations. That says it all. The pope and the commission could save a lot of time and effort because this has already been figured out, and the answer is short: Not much has worked….So it seems that to avoid having to confront and do something about the real issues facing the Church, the commission will be asked to reinvent the wheel.

Over the past three decades, a massive amount of research has been done into every aspect of clergy sex abuse….The vast majority of this research has been done and continues to be done in the United States. The whole nightmarish cesspool would not have been uncovered were it not for the bravery and determination of the American victims. Yet the only American on the commission is a cardinal.

The same day Obama was at the Vatican (March 27) Bergoglio also met with Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian bishops’ conference. The next day, the conference announced its policy as regards clerical sex abuse – “with backing from the Vatican” – stating they are not obliged to inform law enforcement officials if they suspect this crime has been committed. Notifying civil law enforcement agencies has been recommended over and over again by victims and their advocates as one of the necessary reforms the Church has to make if they are really serious about protecting children.

Also on March 28, the American bishops’ conference released the results of a yearly audit they are mandated to conduct under their own "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People," adopted in 2002 following that year’s national headlines about pedophile priests. “Of particular concern are four dioceses that would not allow any audits to take place and the fact that ‘most’ dioceses do not allow or conduct audits of parishes or schools, where most reporting of abuse is thought to occur, the auditors write.”  

On April 2, The Irish Times reported:

Claims made by the Vatican in a submission to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) last December were so inaccurate, it prompted Minister for Justice Alan Shatter to write to Rome seeking clarification.

The Vatican asserted to the UNCRC that the four religious congregations [of nuns] that ran Magdalene laundries in Ireland were willing to pay part of a compensation scheme developed by the State for women who had been in the laundries.

However, two of the religious congregations concerned have since repeated their unwillingness to contribute to any compensation scheme for the women.

Recall Bergoglio’s recent interview: “"The Catholic Church is perhaps the only public institution to have acted with transparency and responsibility. No-one else has done more. Yet the Church is the only one to have been attacked.”

On March 31, Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby, and his family were granted a private meeting with the pope even though his employee retirement plan – partially funded by the company – “held more than $73 million in mutual funds with investments in companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions.” Green “thanked the pope for underlining the importance of religious freedom.” Green said Bergoglio “asked when the ruling was going to come down,” referring to Hobby Lobby's case before the U.S. Supreme Court where the company is challenging Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate.

Kudos to former Fox News correspondent and member of Opus Dei, Gregory Burke, Vatican senior communications adviser for brilliantly manipulating the news. Burke said during an interview with the Washington Post, “I would love to bring some Roger Ailes into this job,” but Burke has been doing just fine. What was the most prominent headline about the Church in the past two weeks after Obama meeting the pope and the formation of a sex abuse commission? “Pope Francis Removes German ‘Bishop of Bling.’”

Although Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst had tendered his resignation last October and the committee formed to investigate the matter had not yet reached its conclusion, the day before Obama arrived at the Vatican it was announced that the pope was accepting Tebartz-van Elst’s resignation. The day following the Obama visit, the bishop was granted a private meeting with Bergoglio (no hard feelings?). As a German newspaper reported, “Former Limburg Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst can look forward to a good pension.”

(Betty Clermont is author of The Neo-Catholics: Implementing Christian Nationalism in America (Clarity Press, 2009))

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Comment Preferences

  •  A lot to digest here. Thanks. nt (17+ / 0-)

    Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding"

    by Bob Love on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 05:36:06 AM PDT

  •  Enlightening as always, thanks. (9+ / 0-)

    Poverty is the worst form of violence. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by blueoregon on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 06:02:21 AM PDT

  •  Jeebus! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SuWho

    I hope you're wrong about a lot of this stuff, Betty!

      •  tx for stellar diary, Betty (6+ / 0-)

        two questions:

        1.  ??

        In the event that APSA comes under the same regulatory pressures as the IOR, Banco Santander already “offered its availability” to the Vatican months ago. I suspect that this Opus Dei banking group will handle any Vatican financial dealings which, if exposed, would threaten the carefully constructed public image of Pope Francis since it already has the reputation of being ethnically-challenged. (see “Banco Santander S.A.Fined $200 Million for Advice Failings,” “Banco Santanger, The Epitome of Bankster Evil” and “Huge Eurobank, rated ‘Britain’s worst,’ now accused of gouging U.S. consumers.”)
        2.  Is John L. Allen Jr., the author of “Opus Dei,” in fact a member of Opus Dei?  I have often wondered that.  If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then maybe it is a duck?

        "The corporate state’s repression, now on the brink of totalitarianism, would with the help of Christie, his corporate backers ... become a full-blown corporate fascism.' http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_trouble_with_chris_christie_20140112

        by SeaTurtle on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 07:32:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm glad I found that quote about SCOTUS (7+ / 0-)

          I remember your correct statement that this was so but I couldn't find the exact quote to back that up. My apologies.

          I'm sorry if the paragraph you highlighted isn't clear but could you be more specific as to the problem so I can correct it?

          Is Allen a member? It's a secret. But certainly his book about Opus Dei is a fluff and flattering work and - as you say "if it walks like a duck.....'"

          •  oh, when I read the paragraph that I labeled #1 (0+ / 0-)

            I wondered if you meant to write "ethically challenged" instead of 'ethnically" ?

            If you mean 'ethically', I understand the paragraph.

            If you mean "ethnically', I do not.

            As far as Allen is concerned, I came to that conclusion because he was allowed so called 'access' to the Vatican for his book and other research.... It seems to me that he is an apologist.

            Once again, thanks for your excellent work.

            "The corporate state’s repression, now on the brink of totalitarianism, would with the help of Christie, his corporate backers ... become a full-blown corporate fascism.' http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_trouble_with_chris_christie_20140112

            by SeaTurtle on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 10:32:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  If it walks like a duck is reminiscent of the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SuWho

            McCarthy era, where similarities unrelated to the subject were used to tar people.  You do some good work.  So why lessen that works value with speculation?

            Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

            by StrayCat on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 10:52:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  "I'm not." (0+ / 0-)

        And so why would you have any incentive to look for any evidence to the contrary.

    •  Trust me, she is. (0+ / 0-)

      I hope I didn't spoil things for you.

      Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

      by OIL GUY on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 10:24:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't worry. Since you provide no documentation, (0+ / 0-)

        logic, explanation, counter-evidence, nor anything whatsoever connected to the real world, outside of sneers, you've spoiled nothing much beyond the worth of your comments.


        Real fixes, outside the coffin fixes, ain't ever pragmatic says DC Bubble Conventional Wisdoom.

        by Jim P on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 12:29:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So basically, the seemingly most progressive pope (17+ / 0-)

    in anyone's memory and perhaps ever, is just pretending to be progressive to hide the fact that he's secretly in charge of the most regressive wing of one of the most regressive religious organizations in the world, a secret society that includes among its members some of the most prominent US leaders, because, to invoke a Cheneyism, "there's been reporting" about it?

    Sorry, but, while your diary is long and full of citations, they're all allegations and insinuations, amounting to one long conspiracy theory.

    And as a non-believing Jew, I've got no skin in this particular game. Although, I have to admit to still liking some of Mel Gibson's movies even though I loath the man himself and everything he stands for.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 07:29:53 AM PDT

  •  Remarkable compilation! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YucatanMan, Ginny in CO, Don midwest

    Thank you very much.

    So telling:

    The same day Obama was at the Vatican (March 27) Bergoglio also met with Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian bishops’ conference. The next day, the conference announced its policy as regards clerical sex abuse – “with backing from the Vatican” – stating they are not obliged to inform law enforcement officials if they suspect this crime has been committed. Notifying civil law enforcement agencies has been recommended over and over again by victims and their advocates as one of the necessary reforms the Church has to make if they are really serious about protecting children.
    On March 31, Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby, and his family were granted a private meeting with the pope even though his employee retirement plan – partially funded by the company – “held more than $73 million in mutual funds with investments in companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions.” Green “thanked the pope for underlining the importance of religious freedom.” Green said Bergoglio “asked when the ruling was going to come down,” referring to Hobby Lobby's case before the U.S. Supreme Court where the company is challenging Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate.
  •  No-Knothings still among us. (8+ / 0-)
    a secret society of international bankers, financiers, businessmen and their supporters
    Points, laughs.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 07:34:04 AM PDT

  •  Supreme Court (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YucatanMan, Catte Nappe, Don midwest

    Do the 5 Republican Catholics on the Supreme Court have connections to Opus Dei or are they just a reflection of the ideology of the extreme right-wing in the US?

    •  Matthew Fox says three are and one probably. (4+ / 0-)

      If you read Fox's interviews, you will find him an extemely knowledgeable "insider." I trust his conclusions because everything else he says in the God's-honest-truth.

    •  Actually the link doesn't show any evidence (5+ / 0-)

      for that at all.  It's just another statement that it's "widely known".

      "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

      by stellaluna on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 08:46:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Matthew Fox is a well-known, highly regarded (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Don midwest

        author.

        •  First link: A senate staffer claims that the (4+ / 0-)

          Judiciary Committee received notes and letters saying that Alito was a member of..."  Seriously, a leak from the same kind of senate staffer running the IRS scandal or the Benghazi inquiry???

          Not going to read the rest.

          "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

          by stellaluna on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 10:09:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The second and third just report rumors. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stellaluna, Catte Nappe

            The fourth one is the only one that might arguably be worth reading.  Its conclusion is that Scalia is probably not a member but is sympathetic to the goals of the group; that Roberts’ relationship with the group is unclear, but he ‘shares many of their religious outlooks’; and that Thomas, whether a member or not, has close ties with the group.  The article is part of a long series on the Catholic Right.  I’ll let the author speak for himself about his purpose, as stated in Part One:

            INTRODUCTION: In light of the attention over the release of Ron Howard's film The DaVinci Code, the ultra-conservative group Opus Dei has become a subject of much discussion. Some of it is accurate, some is not.  

            I am a Church-going Roman Catholic, an attorney, and an advocate for embryonic stem-cell research. Over the past five years I have continually run into "Catholic" opposition that I ultimately found to be fueled by Opus Dei members or its sympathizers. As a progressive minded member, my Church heroes are Monsignor John A. Ryan, Dorothy Day and Pope John XXIII. To a great extent, the current Catholic Right seeks to undo much of their good work. I believe it is time that the belief and methods of Opus Dei and the broader Catholic Right be exposed. As for the aforementioned inaccuracies in The DaVinci Code, I worry that Opus Dei and other socially conservative groups that rely on Catholic identity to further an agenda may use them as a shield for deflection from more concerns that can adversely affect our pluralistic democracy.

            He starts with the historical background.  I’ve not read the whole series.  I can’t say whether he gets all of his facts straight or how much his concern may or may not have affected his judgement, but he appears to be able to distinguish fact from inference from suspicion.
  •  I'm new to this, so am just reading up. (7+ / 0-)

    I've not formed an opinion on any of this, yet.

    So I'm just sharing a few links, as I go, in case they're of interest to others.

    http://www.opusdei.us/... The Holy Father expressed his joy and gave me his blessing for the apostolic work of the [Opus Dei?] Prelature, which he knows quite well. Among other reasons, because when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires he was in contact with various faithful of Opus Dei.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...  The PR genius who helped make the Pope popular: Francis's marketing mastermind, an ex US journalist who belongs to Opus Dei
    http://america.aljazeera.com/... The fallacy of papal change under Pope Francis  The only thing new about the pontiff is his public-relations team

    http://www.pccs.va/... Greg Burke gave this year's World Communications Day lecture to media professionals in central London - Heythrop College. You can watch it here.
  •  Creepy stuff. (5+ / 0-)

    If ever we needed another Protestant Reformation :) the time is now.

    Thanks for the diary.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 08:04:53 AM PDT

    •  No, not a Protestant Reformation... (4+ / 0-)

      Either a complete rejection of this nonsense about the "ticket to heaven" and the strange things you must do to show an OMNISCIENT BEING that you "believe in him" and "trust in him"... As if an OMNISCIENT BEING would need the demonstration of whips, sharp chains and other forms of mortification...

      We need a rejection of Paulism. We need a rejection of that which Luther rejected, petitioning the sky god with money...

      Ugh. --UB.

      The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

      by unclebucky on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 08:52:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We didn't even need the First ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      karmsy

      Protestant Reformation. Look what it unleashed. If people had just moved away from the corruption of the Church rather than strike out on their own, we wouldn't have had to deal with nearly as much sturm and drang as we have had to this last 500 years.

      How's that for a conspiracy theory?

      Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. Dalai Lama

      by TPain on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 08:55:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe not. There is a form of (9+ / 0-)

      Protestantism that is just as creepy.

      Dominion Theology or Dominionism is the idea that Christians should work toward either a nation governed by Christians or one governed by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law. At least under this name, it exists primarily among Protestants in the United States. It is a form of theocracy and is related to theonomy, though it does not necessarily advocate Mosaic law as the basis of government. Prominent adherents of Dominion Theology are otherwise theologically diverse, including the Calvinist Christian Reconstructionism and the charismatic/Pentecostal Kingdom Now theology and New Apostolic Reformation.
      See Wikipedia

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      . . . and the talk2action.com website.

      Theocracy in many forms seems to be trying for a comeback. I find that creepy.

      "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

      by Lily O Lady on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 10:09:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent idea! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StrayCat, stellaluna, PinHole

      The Thirty Years War was such a blast.

      Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

      by OIL GUY on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 10:43:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course we have our 13 going on forever (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OIL GUY

        War in the Middle East.  As usual, land and power were an inextricable part of the 30 Years War, and oil, and power are fundamental to the present War, fought like the 30 Years War in fits and starts.  Protestants/Catholics.....Christians/Muslims -- it's all the same.   How sad that people can follow a colored piece of cloth to their deaths and leave their families to become. I times of the flag wavers at home.

        Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

        by StrayCat on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 11:07:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And the 50 years of war that followed? (0+ / 0-)

      Talk about creepy.

  •  Do NOT give money to the church... (6+ / 0-)

    Rather, find those organizations that still do Jesus's work. Perhaps Maryknoll, perhaps independent Jesuits, perhaps members of orders who are not approved of by the RCC.

    If you give money, it flows upwards to the Opus Dei.

    That is all.

    Ugh. --UB.

    The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

    by unclebucky on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 08:42:20 AM PDT

    •  ERD? (0+ / 0-)
      Do NOT give money to the church...

      Rather, find those organizations that still do Jesus's work. Perhaps Maryknoll, perhaps independent Jesuits, perhaps members of orders who are not approved of by the RCC. If you give money, it flows upwards to the Opus Dei.

      If you support targeted charitable work, with no Vatican ties, you can give to Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD). In my experience, very effective, very efficient (amount of each donation applied to the cause at hand), and you have a choice as to where you want your donation to go.

      You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

      by paz3 on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 01:15:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This diary seems to pre-suppose that Opus Dei (9+ / 0-)

    is a right wing nefarious organization with the goal of driving the world more toward fascist policy.  It would help to have some links that show that.

    Also, some of your links still go to broad statements assuming they are facts instead of linking to the evidence.  For instance:

    “It's widely known that Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas belong to Opus Dei - and that Chief Justice John Roberts may also be a member,” stated Matthew Fox, a former priest, progressive theologian and author of more than 23 books.
    The link here just goes to the statement by Fox that, "It's widely known that Supreme Court Justices....belong to Opus Dei".  I find this fascinating (and enjoyed the book) but would like to see some evidence in order to better evaluate this claim.

    "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

    by stellaluna on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 08:44:55 AM PDT

    •  It is. What is fascism? What are the behaviours? (3+ / 0-)

      Match 'em up and the results are clear.

      Ugh. --UB.

      The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

      by unclebucky on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 08:53:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I want to see a link on the poison claim. (5+ / 0-)

      I also want to see a link to the claim that Opus Dei was part of the tower 7 collapse.

    •  Opus Dei - a "proto-fascist Catholic organization" (5+ / 0-)

      A recent article http://www.counterpunch.org/... titled “Can Even God Forgive Jorge Mario Bergoglio” was written by Nancy Scheper-Hughes, professor of medical anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley and author of  The Ghosts of Montes de Oca: Naked Life and the Medically Disappeared – A Hidden Subtext of the Argentine Dirty War. In her article, Scheper-Hughers reviews the pope’s history during the Dirty War. She writes that the military junta was led by General Jorge Videla, “a devout Catholic, influenced by the ultra-conservative philosophy of Opus Dei, an international right-leaning (proto-fascist) Catholic organization.”

      •  OK, again, calling something a "pro to-fascist (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OIL GUY

        organization" doesn't make it so.  I'm not arguing with you but I would like so links to something other than someone else's opinion.

        "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

        by stellaluna on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 09:58:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, the. Mom enter just gave you facts and a (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lonely Texan

          basis for examination of the claims.  That is not a mere calling someone a proto fascist.  It is evidence that the subjects were and are fascists.  By the way, protofascism is usually used to describe the indivistualistic, ultranationalism that was current in the nineteenth and early twentieth. centuries of which Nietzsche, Wagner and other übermensch are examples.

          Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

          by StrayCat on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 11:14:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  OK I read the entire article at the (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OIL GUY, Susan G in MN

            Link. Nothing in the article provides any evidence for this diarists allegations. It's just a statement without source. If this diarist can back up her writing she should do it. But frankly linking to long articles about completely different issues that simply make the same unsubstantiated claims as the diarist isn't intellectually honest. And having now fallen into the trap of reading completely unrelated material looking for those sources I'm pretty much done with this diarist. This diary is a bunch of hysterical CT. If I want to learn more about the Opus Dei this is not the place to do it.

            "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

            by stellaluna on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 12:14:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Now you offer some guilt (4+ / 0-)

        by association. I view Counterpunch as a dubious source, but let's put that aside.

        You state that a professor at Berkley has written about Argentina's Dirty War and Pope Francis role in it. Then you quote that the leader of the military junta was a devout Catholic influenced by Opus Dei without showing any relationship between him and the Pope accept they share the same religion.

        That they were both Catholics i92% Catholic in a country which is 92% Catholic.

        If there is more information in the Counterpunch article shouldn't you at least tell us what it contains that you find damning? Or are we supposed to do the research for you?

        Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

        by OIL GUY on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 11:30:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sadly I did read the article. Mainly (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OIL GUY, Mark Lippman, Catte Nappe

          because I've always been interested in liberation theology and the involvement of catholic clergy in the various oppositional movements in Latin American oppressive regimes. But despite my efforts I found that not only does the link not support the proposition the diarist offers it for, it is pretty shaky both factually and analytically on it's own unrelated hypothesis.

          "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

          by stellaluna on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 12:26:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Read my comment directly above yours./ (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OIL GUY

            There is no existence without doubt.

            by Mark Lippman on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 12:47:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I thought it surprising that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stellaluna

            the author presents no direct evidence of what anyone says or does. Cardinals leave significant paper trails. They deliver sermons, and letters to their flock on an almost monthly basis. There should also be communications back and forth to Rome. Yet none of this is cited. All the author provides is a rather disjointed history of Liberation Theology in Latin America with more speculation than fact about the Pope;s involvement,

            Thankfully she provides kind words for the Jesuits, who I have a soft spot for as they provided me with an excellent education.

            Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

            by OIL GUY on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 01:01:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The best she can do is selected portions of (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              OIL GUY

              transcripts that have the (now) Pope being asked if he could find the materials that would prove acquiescence by the Catholic hierarchy and him agreeing that he would have access to those records if they existed.  So presumably he is guilty of collaborating with the oppressive regime since he has t produced those records. Or something.

              "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

              by stellaluna on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 01:13:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think that the diarist and half the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OIL GUY, serendipityisabitch

          commenters on this page have the slightest clue about logic. It's not part of the curriculum in American public schools. Ironically, there's probably a better chance of learning it in a Catholic school if it follows the intellectual left tradition that exists as a minority in the church.

          This diarist's writing can be a click magnet and DK is a business, after all. Women and gays have been harmed and continue to be harmed by the American Council of Bishops. Some people would easily believe that the pope is cloven-hoofed with or without a substantiating link.

          I believe the diarist is sincere. I don't think she understands that it's rightwing agenda to discredit the papal exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, which called for a new regime of economic and social justice.  The pope spoke clearly about the failure of neo-liberal trickle down economics. He laid out the basic elements of a leftist alternative.

          Without realizing it, the writer is doing the Heritage Foundation and Cato Institute work of demoralizing liberals and progressives, demotivating them to maintain the current state of inertia. Rightwingers certainly don't want the left to start thinking that any characteristics of socialism can be possible in the US. It's couched in the diarist's writing, sometimes it's overt, and it certainly shows up in the comments.

          People spread ideology without even realizing that they're doing it. That's where the real loss due to the absence of logic shows up.

          There is no existence without doubt.

          by Mark Lippman on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 12:44:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Very well said. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mark Lippman, stellaluna, Lepanto

            There are many useful discussions to be had about what Pope Francis says and does. It is also legitimate to examine his biography, but such examination should be fact based and not conjecture and guilt by association.

            So far, Pope Francis has been a breath of fresh air in comparison to his predecessors. He could be an important voice to fight for economic equality. Time will tell what role he will play.

            Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

            by OIL GUY on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 01:11:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  A receptive audience will believe almost (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              OIL GUY, stellaluna

              anything and there are some tricky pieces being passed off to the left to make them trample their own principles. Example: it only takes about 4 words to accomplish a coup d'état in a foreign country because . . . neo-cons!  It's who they are and what they do. Case closed.

              What's the implicit lesson? If you're a woman, and your husband is a neo-con, then you must be a neo-con, too. No one knows if she is or isn't, and no one asks. It's just assumed like it was in 1959. That's inconsistent with progressive and left ideology.

              In the bargain, the left sides with a repressive, anti-human rights regime as it points to fascists elsewhere distracting attention away from the overt fascist who circulated through the Duma/Kremlin/state-TV revolving door for 15 years.  

              http://www.dailykos.com/...

              Distraction is part of the game. Especially with important mid-terms coming up.

              There is no existence without doubt.

              by Mark Lippman on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 02:04:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  I have never understood why (18+ / 0-)

    conspiracy theory bs is acceptable as long as the Catholic Church is the bogeyman. Nonothingism has a long history in America.

    I would direct you to The Paranoid Style in American Politics by Richard Hofstadter. Here is an article he did for Harper's Magazine in 1964 which encapsulates the ideas discussed in his book.

    Here is a quote from a Texas newspaper in 1855:

    It is a notorious fact that the Monarchs of Europe and the Pope of Rome are at this very moment plotting our destruction and threatening the extinction of our political, civil, and religious institutions. We have the best reasons for believing that corruption has found its way into our Executive Chamber, and that our Executive head is tainted with the infectious venom of Catholicism. . . . The Pope has recently sent his ambassador of state to this country on a secret commission, the effect of which is an extraordinary boldness of the Catholic church throughout the United States. . . . These minions of the Pope are boldly insulting our Senators; reprimanding our Statesmen; propagating the adulterous union of Church and State; abusing with foul calumny all governments but Catholic, and spewing out the bitterest execrations on all Protestantism. The Catholics in the United States receive from abroad more than $200,000 annually for the propagation of their creed. Add to this the vast revenues collected here. . . .
    How progressive is it to mirror the anti-Catholic vitriol of a newspaper published 160 years ago. This type of conspiracy theory is no different than Trutherism or any of the other movements which seek to blame  particular groups for the world's ills.

    For Truthers it is usually Jews or Arab-Americans. In this screed it is Catholics.

    I do want to say that I am utterly appalled by Opus Dei and other fundamentalist religious groups. But it's way out of line to re-imagine them as running the Catholic Church and hatching secret murder plots.

    I'm rather surprised that the anti-Cathoilc CT crowd hasn't opened an investigation of the Jesuits, the Pope's former Order. They have been suspect for hundreds of years, far longer than Opus Dei has. The word jesuitical is a synonym for crafty or sly. The Brits lived in fear of them for centuries and the Brits know something about anti-Catholicism. Ask Tony Blair, who had to keep his Catholic religion a secret for 30 years in order to have a career in British politics.

    We would probably agree completely about what is wrong with the Catholic Church. I left it 45 years ago over its many failings, but it should be criticized for its very real sins, not this conspiracy nonsense. Accusing Catholics of developing secret poisons went out of style quite some time ago. Unfortunately, it keeps getting revived.

     Daily Kos should not be a place that tolerates this type of CT, any more than it tolerates Truthers. CT theories are basically all the same, whether they target Jews, or Moslems, or Freemasons, or Catholics. None of them should have a place here.

    Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

    by OIL GUY on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 08:48:30 AM PDT

    •  Thou dost protest too much. n/t (5+ / 1-)

      The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

      by unclebucky on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 08:54:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No. This diary is total bullshit and (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OIL GUY, marykk, murphy, Matt Z, Bonsai66

        your lack of respect for the church has clouded your vision to what is a poorly sourced diary.

        Do Betty a favor and ask her to back up all her claims.

        •  "Totalitarian, imbued with fascist ideas" (5+ / 0-)

          Martin A. Lee, author and activist who has written books and articles on far-right movements, wrote http://www.motherjones.com/... in 1983:

          Internally, it is totalitarian and imbued with fascist ideas turned to religious purposes, ideas which were surely drawn from the Spain of its early years. It is virtually a sect or cult in spirit, a law unto itself, totally self-centered, grudgingly accepting Roman authority because it still considers Rome orthodox, and because of the vast pool of recruits accessible to it as a respected Catholic organization.

          •  So, see Betty. I KNOW Opus Dei people... (1+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            Lonely Texan
            Hidden by:
            Mark Lippman

            I know exactly the problem.

            And I am sure I got HR'd by an Opus Dei thingee.

            Who does protest too much.

            Ugh. --UB.

            The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

            by unclebucky on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 10:59:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think you deserved the HR. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Catte Nappe

              However, you are treading on thin ice when you accuse another kossack of trolling on behalf of some outside group. Disagreeing with you doesn't make him an Opus Dei operative.

               One HR means nothing in the overall scheme of things, but making an accusation against another member without evidence to support it can get you Bojo'd.

              I don't mean this as anything other than friendly advice. I don't mean to imply that you are in any serious shit because of your comment, just that you should be careful how you phrase what you say about other kossacks.

              Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

              by OIL GUY on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 11:50:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Hey uncle bucky, (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              OleHippieChick, lotlizard, bsmechanic

              I uprated to offset.

              Fwiw, I lived in Madrid for almost a decade, and all but the most devout Catholics equated Opus Dei with Franco or fascists.

              •  Uprating a shill accusation? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                OIL GUY

                Is that really where you want to take your stand?

                “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

                by Catte Nappe on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 02:10:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  The HR is for two offenses: (4+ / 0-)

              1] When we disagree with other users, we refrain from suggestions about where they're employed, who they work for, the groups they affiliate with, etc. We don't smear other users like that because of a disagreement. Remember, the orientation of the site includes a broad spectrum of liberals, progressives, centrist Democrats, and others who are all voting members of our caucus come November.

              2] Until, proven otherwise, everyone posting here is a human being. We don't refer to others as 'things' "thingies'
              or other miscellaneous objects or creatures so as to dehumanize them.  If emotion and disagreement hinder respectful communication, it's best to take a breather.  I've always regretted the times when I failed to take five for a cooling off.

              This diary addresses controversial matters and it doesn't break cleanly into good/bad, right/wrong, black/white. That means almost every person commenting has at least some common ground with the overall group.

              There is no existence without doubt.

              by Mark Lippman on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 01:07:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  The diary is wanting, but is obviously not total (0+ / 0-)

          bullshit.  Everyone on these kinds of subjects seems to want to overstate, use hyperbole, and force inference from inadequate premises.

          Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

          by StrayCat on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 11:16:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Ahhh. I see now. (0+ / 0-)

          "Your lack of respect for the church"

          It is personal for you.

          •  Why is that wrong? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stellaluna

            Having someone attack one's religion is about as personal as it gets, especially when the attack is complete bs. I'm no longer a Catholic.

            I left 45 Years ago. I'm an agnostic, but I certainly think that it is important to respect the religious beliefs of those who disagree with me. That's especially true in a community like this one, where we are joined by a common set of political principles, but we come from many different social and religious backgrounds.

            It's a big tent. I takes a lot of mutual respect to maintain that. I certainly fail in terms of always showing respect for others. If anyone wants to prove me a hypocrite, I'm sure I left a long paper trail, but I would hope that everyone has more pressing matters to attend to.

            Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

            by OIL GUY on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 01:34:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I read the diary as being about Opus Dei (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bsmechanic

              And its influence, not a referendum on the entire Catholic Church.

              And I agree with you, to a point. It is important to be tolerant, but not tolerant towards intolerance or towards people and organizations that are doing harm.

              You may disagree that Opus Dei is harmful. That's fine. But it being harmful is part of my own personal history.

              •  I think Opus Dei is harmful, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Lonely Texan

                but not nearly to the extent the diarist claims.

                All conservative movements are harmful to the progress of humanity. There are many out there. Opus Dei is just another one of those with its own Catholic focus. These guys are more focused on making Latin the language of the Mass once again, than in taking over the world.

                Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

                by OIL GUY on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 06:23:47 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  "Too much?" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OIL GUY

        If the volume of "protest" is revenant, point that nugget at the OP: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks"

      •  What a clever argument. (6+ / 0-)

        It's the perfect CT approach. If someone argues against you, it is further proof that your conspiracy theory must be true.

        Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

        by OIL GUY on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 10:06:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sort of like how the absence of contrary facts (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OIL GUY, Matt Z

          proves the veracity of one fact-free assertion.

          Me: The moon is made of cheese!

          You: No it's not.

          Me: Prove that it's not made of cheese.

          You: I can't, I'm not a moon scientist, but it's not made of cheese.

          Me: The fact that you can't disprove that the moon is made of cheese proves that the moon is made of cheese!

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 10:54:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  not hide rate-able material. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sagesource, Lonely Texan, bsmechanic

        Life is just a bowl of Cherries, that stain your hands and clothes and have pits that break your teeth.

        by OHdog on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 11:22:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Uprated for HR abuse.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lonely Texan

        ....which should get the person involved kicked off this site.

        "They bash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago volume 3)

        by sagesource on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 11:37:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  uprated to counter misplaced HR (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bsmechanic

        This comment does not deserve to be Hide-Rated:

        Thou dost protest too much. n/t (4+ / 1-)
        Hidden by:
            The Technomancer
        by unclebucky on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 11:54:10 AM EDT
    •  If this diary was about the Elders of Zion (7+ / 0-)

      she would have been banned years ago.

      •  But that was a myth (8+ / 0-)

        And this is real. Opus Dei actually exists.  It is very powerful.  It is and has always been pro-fascist.  This is barely controversial; it's just what and who they are.  Opus Dei represents the old, pre-Vatican II conservative wing of the RCC, the ones who admire Pio Nono, godfather of the hard right and inspiration for the Anti-Semitic movement.  (Pio Nono, pope Pius IX, supported the kidnapping of Jewish babies by Catholic families so they could be "saved".  And he invented the church doctrine that "life begins at conception" that begat the anti-abortion movement.)

        The Elders of Zion, in contrast, were a complete fabrication of the Czar's secret police.

        •  Nonsense. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Patience John, OIL GUY

          If this isn't a myth the diarist could have provided links to back up some of her outrageous claims.

        •  Every conspiracy theorist (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Matt Z, marykk, kovie, serendipityisabitch

          believes their CT is real.

          I acknowledge that a conservative Catholic group called Opus Dei exists. That they murder their political opponents with secret poisons - not so much.

          That they control the US Supreme Court is a slander against Catholics. It is the same accusation of 'dual 'loyalty' that is used against Jews as regards Israel. It was the same bigotry that John Kennedy had to fight to be elected President.

          There are 5 Justices who describe themselves as Catholic, but they hardly vote in lock-step. Justice Soto-Mayor is clearly a liberal on all the issues important to the Church. Justice Kennedy is a moderate-conservative who is very supportive of women's right to choose and other issues that go against his Church's teaching.

          Opus Dei is really pretty boring, if you ask me. Catholics have a long history of fraternal organizations. The Women's Sodality pretty much ran the parish I was baptized in. The Knights of Columbus was big in the Italian parish I grew up in. They weren't very conspiritorial. Unless you consider bake sales and marching in costumes with swords during the Columbus day Parade to be suspicious behavior.

          Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

          by OIL GUY on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 10:02:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Bad news is not the same as "running the show" (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jiffypop, Catte Nappe, stellaluna

          Being Jewish, these kinds of diaries make me nervous as all hell.

          While the Elders of Zion was a complete fabrication, there are plenty anti-semitic conspiracy theories that have at least a foothold in reality.  The Rothschild family exists, even if they never were the "players" the anti-semites claimed (and continue to claim) that they were.  And the World Zionist Organization is of course real, even if they are neither (and have never been) particularly united on very much, and certainly don't have the supernatural abilities to foresee or manipulate the world to their own ends, nefarious or otherwise.

          Yeah, Opus Dei is a really organization, and I don't think it's that far a stretch to say they are bad actors from the point of view of progressive Catholics, and of the left generally.  But there are things about the diarist that I don't see as proven.  In particular:

          - As OD has grown, you have to assume that the membership got diluted.  A lot of movers and shakers in the Church would have needed the organization effectively to "network".  Given that a lot of OD types are deeply annoyed with this pope (which I can't believe is faked), it's reasonable to assume that being a member of OD doesn't say all that much about how some of these people will react.  To use an extreme example:  once the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the NSDAP of Germany became institutionalized, a lot of people chose to "get along by going along" and joined the Party for reasons other than ideology.  I think that OD succeeded to a degree within the Church of John Paul II and Benedict XVI that this happened in the Church hierarchy as well.

          - Pope Francis appear to be serious about reorganizing the Vatican's finances, and the largely Italy specific nature of its corruption.  Here, I don't think that the OD, whatever you have to say about it, has any particular reason to oppose a real reform, and given how much OD has grown since John Paul II's become pope, a lot of the logical outsiders to choose (insiders not reasonable to choose) are going to be OD members.  Here the pope is choosing between lesser evils.

          - It's worth remembering that perceived "liberals" in the hierarchy have been very much purged from the Church since the late 1980s.  However the Church likes to portray itself, it is a human institution with human politics.  Francis may be the leader of that institution, but he is effectively a leader of a coalition.  It's a mistake in any coalition government to pick out extreme members of a coalition and assume they represent the views of the government (Israeli political history has a lot of great examples of this).  I suspect that Francis made the best coalition possible with what he had to work with.  Less extreme OD elements appear to be part of this.

          OD likely has an outsized influence in the Church, and will continue to have one for some time.  But the kind of case the diarist is making here isn't plausible to me.

          Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

          by mbayrob on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 02:57:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Being a non-religious Jew (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      La Gitane, OIL GUY, Matt Z, marykk, jiffypop

      I've heard all sorts of nonsense from more religious Jews over the years that I dismissed as the utterly delusional and self-serving crap that it clearly was and is even though I realized that many Jews probably believed in it.

      E.g. that Jesus was an agent of Satan who hid a secret satanic scroll in his thigh (that he inserted there by cutting himself open) to hide his true beliefs and motives, which was to promote Satan in the guise of Christianity.

      Or that god would punish me if I ever entered a church.

      Or, of course, that because god promised us chosen people the holy land, it is therefore legally ours in perpetuity, not just the parts that most countries now recognize as Israel, but the rest of greater historical Israel including parts currently in other countries or occupied territory.

      Sadly, some of these crazy beliefs actually are believed in by some powerful Jews--or at least they claim to believe them to justify their policies--especially some of Israel's leaders and their rich and powerful Jewish backers in the US.

      But it's still all crazy-ass bullshit used to justify greed and megalomania, no different from our own alleged "moral values" champions in the US, who invariably turn out to be the most morally despicable people around.

      So, yeah, there ARE crazy Catholics, Jews, evangelicals, Muslims, lefties, righties, culties, etc., but it's their craziness and/or megalomania that defines them, not their alleged beliefs or the organizations they belong to.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 09:09:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That satanic story is bullshit (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        serendipityisabitch

        No religious Jew would make up a tale about Jesus' being an agent of Satan.  For one thing, Satan the devil is a Christian character.  The Jewish source is the term for "adversary", which occurs in the Book of Job -- an angel who is an adversary (a satan) in debate with the big guy challenges him to put Job to the test.  So the Jewish satan is more like sparring partner in a boxing match, not a devil.  And of course the whole Hell thing isn't Jewish either.  And Job is a novella, a work of fiction, not meant to be taken literally, so it was the Christians who took the translations as literal truth who came up with Satan the Devil.

        Besides, Jews don't pay any heed to Jesus.  We don't know whether he existed or not; if he did, he was just a crazy sort-of-rabbi who got into trouble with the Romans, was killed, and that was that.  No holier than Brian.

        •  The story itself is obvious bullshit (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OIL GUY

          But its existence and the belief in it is not. There are millions of religious Jews and many movements and cults within Judaism and not all are reality-based (putting aside for a moment the fact that all religious beliefs are inherently not based in reality). Are you calling me a liar or delusional?

          As for the rest of your comment, yours is one particular interpretation of scripture and Jewish beliefs that presumes a uniform interpretation of scripture and one uniform Jewish belief, which is of course ridiculous. Many Jews do believe that Satan and hell exist, however they interpret each, and there is certainly a scriptural basis for such beliefs.

          However, there is also a vast body of oral and written scriptural interpretation that has added enormously to the range and depth of such beliefs, that many Jews, and virtually all religious Jews, subscribe to, to one extent or another. And one of these is the aforementioned story about Christ, obviously meant as propaganda for strayers and potential Christian converts, and a way to deal with the understandable fear of Christianity that Jews have had to contend with until very recently. It's no different from blood libel, the Rapture or the 72 virgins, and other such nonsense intended to alternately brainwash and salve weak minds and (sometimes justifiably) fearful souls.

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 10:44:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Whoever told you the story (0+ / 0-)

            was not dealing in either mainstream or commonly-recited Orthodox belief.  There are lots of nutty Jewish cults but they tend to ignore, not discuss, other religions, especially Christianity.  It sounds more a story told about Jews by those who don't grok any form of Judaism, not by Jews, since Jews just don't waste time worrying about Jesus, Mohammed, or Zarathustra.  Some do think about Siddharta, though, as some of his teachings are popular among Jews, and it doesn't require superstition or belief in other dieties...

            •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              OIL GUY

              Are you Jewish? Were you brought up in a Jewish context? I am and was, and this has been my experience. Granted, most Jews I know don't openly believe such things, but I've heard this myth several times so it's not like it's winning the lottery. I've also heard lots of more "mainstream" nonsense coming from people claiming to be religious Jews, like how all Muslims are evil and want to kill Jews and destroy Israel, how Obama's a secret Muslim, etc. I don't believe that they reflect the views of most Jews, including religious ones, but certainly these are nut ultra-fringe beliefs held by only a handful of nutjobs.

              My favorite, though, is a much more innocuous one. Apparently, back when beepers were common, some Hasidic Jews wore special beepers meant to go off the instant that the messiah came back. I kid you not.

              "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

              by kovie on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 12:59:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  yes, I am (0+ / 0-)

                and I have had some Jewish education, and continue to read Jewish material, sometimes go to shul, etc. I've also studied some Christian theology, as an academic subject (not as a believer).

                Of course many Jews believe all sorts of idiocy about Muslims.  Combine the situation in Israel with a little bit of terrorism done in the name of Islam (not legitimately), and of course they start believing nonsense.  The Jewish right opposes Obama for various reasons, none very rational except that he, like any American president, can't tolerate their annexation of the West Bank.

                The beeper stuff is totally believable; I've heard it too.  In particular the Lubavicher (Chabad) sect has many adherents (not all) who believe that their last Rebbe, Menachem Schneerson, was Moshiach.   Of course the Jewish concept of Moshiach is not the same as the Christian concept of "Messiah".  But dead old Menachem ain't it.  The haredim in general have a lot of weird ideas and I feel roughly zero religious commonality with them.

                But it's a rare day indeed when a Jewish religious discussion (as compared to one about comparative religion, which non-O would study) turns to "Jesus", whoever he was.

                •  There were billboards (0+ / 0-)

                  all over New York with Rebbe Schneerson's photograph and the word Moshiach emblazoned across it two years even before the Rebbe passed away.

                  Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

                  by OIL GUY on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 04:33:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I pass by his grave often (0+ / 0-)

                  A close relative who died not that long ago happens to be buried not far from where he's buried and I go there several times a year. There are always people there throwing in notes, lighting candles and praying, but it's hardly anything unusual (although I'm sure that on certain days of the years it's a mob scene). I go into his shrine sometimes, but don't pray or throw in a note. I just light a candle and leave. I don't feel anything "special" when there.

                  The belief that he's the messiah, and the beeper thing, are fairly harmless. And I'm sure that among all world Jews, the myth about Jesus is mostly unknown and certain not believed in. But I'm honestly not making this up. I was shocked when I heard it as a boy and continue to be shocked that it's told and believed in. But we're talking about some pretty extreme sects that have a strained relationship with reality, not most religious Jews let alone Jews in general.

                  In a way, it's their version of blood libel, a crazy story intended to scare their followers into not straying from the sect or making contact with outsiders--lest they think for themselves and see that other people live differently without being evil devil-worshippers. I'm sure that all fringe sects have such myths intended to keep the flock in line. Kind of like neocons and Repubs, actually.

                  "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                  by kovie on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 05:22:53 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Embarrassing (9+ / 0-)

      It is the presence of diaries like this one that makes me too embarrassed to tell people I'm a daily reader of DKos. And it makes the recommended list? Proof that the right doesn't have a monopoly on irrational quacks.

    •  In Hofstadter's terms... (3+ / 0-)

      this diary manifests “the big leap from the undeniable to the unbelievable.”

      I'll always tip a reference to that book.

      Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

      by angry marmot on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 10:51:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The leap here was shorter than that. It was a (0+ / 0-)

        leap from the undeniable to the partly proven and the unproven.  There really are organizations like the Federalist Society, the John Birch Society, and others who are founded and run by people high on ideology, and lacking moral balance.  They came for........

        Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

        by StrayCat on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 11:23:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think anyone is (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stellaluna, angry marmot

          disputing that conservative societies exist. No one is doubting the existence of Opus Dei. It is the idea that Opus Dei is this secret organization which rules the world, at least the Roman Catholic world, which is what makes this conspiracy theory.

          Especially since the diarist and her supporters have mustered precious few facts to support their case.

          Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

          by OIL GUY on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 01:42:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  HRd for a long list of claims here with no (7+ / 0-)

    actual links to back them up.

    CT all the way baby. Provide those links where they lack and i'll remove the HR.

  •  Betty, if you want careful readers to be (11+ / 0-)

    more persuaded by your diary, you must back up your main assertion right up top, preferably with links.

    Here's your main assertion:

    A year after Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s elevation as head of the Church and his many appointments, the dust has settled. Three cardinals have emerged as the most powerful in this papacy; all have close ties to Opus Dei. Two now control all Vatican finance.
    No links. Then there's tons of links below, most of t
    hem (almost all of them? would take way too much time to check them all) from before Bergoglio was made pope, and as others have pointed out, at least some of them not necessarily backing up very specifically what you say they do.

    If you have a link/links backing up the main assertion - you should add them to your lead. Or at least detail, in the lead paragraphs, who three cardinals are and which two are "now" controlling the Vatican's finances, and evidence that it was because of Bergoglio that they have risen to those positions would be persuasive, too.

    Segueing immediately into a lengthy general discussion on Opus Dei does not make your diary more persuasive to the general reader, but less persuasive.

    As far as this: with the "now": "Two now control all Vatican finance." - in addition to the question about who the "two" are - I'm not saying you don't have this info in the diary or in the links somewhere, about who the "three" or the "two" are, but it shouldn't be a puzzle hunt in the depths of the diary to find the names that you should have in your lead paragraph  - my first reaction is to the "now" -- i.e., is this a change? Are you saying, in your opinion, members of Opus Dei did NOT "control" the finances of the Vatican in the past?  Certainly plenty of google references (can't say if they're good sources or not) about Opus Deo from before Bergoglio was made pope assert it did.

  •  Unsolicited advice from an interested reader... (20+ / 0-)

    If you want to convince others, stay away from sources that change or disappear at the drop of a hat.  The first two links I tried to follow were both dead; one was frozen for violations of WordPress TOS, and the other simply said "the page you're looking for on this blog does not exist." I'm a data-driven, source-material guy; if I can't read your sources, I have no means by which to grant credibility to your opinions.

    In addition, you frequently link to sources that could definitely be considered "fringe" or borderline conspiracy theory. For instance, population-security.org (to which you linked in this diary) features the following articles on its front page:

    Why and how did the Vatican seize control of the Republican Party?

    Why is the Vatican a threat to Americans?

    and wants to "broaden understanding" of these topics:
    The conflict between the Vatican and U.S. security.

    Vatican influence on the American press.

    Vatican influence on the United Nations, the World Health Organization and other international agencies.

    Vatican influence on the International Feminist Movement.

    Of the 20 articles linked from their front page, 13 of them are anti-Catholic - even as it states that it "is not an anti-Catholic website." Riiiiiiiiiiiiight.

    You told someone to "Do your own google research..." Remember that:

    "Google research" is NOT research.
    I mean, come on, you're citing NewsMax as a credible source. (MoneyNews is part of NewsMax.)

    If you want to write articles that convince the reader, you need to verify/vet your sources and stick with those found credible by most readers. You make some solid arguments and raise some legitimate concerns, but they are often lost in a larger body of poorly referenced, proof-by-assertion, and/or unverifiable rhetoric.

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 09:38:29 AM PDT

    •  You omitted the Economist, Bloomberg et al (3+ / 0-)

      "Google research" just means looking up topics using the most popular search engine, that's all.

      •  Mixing valid sources and evidence in with (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OIL GUY, stellaluna, BMScott, Matt Z, Bonsai66

        invalid ones does not make the invalid ones the SLIGHTEST bit more valid. This is classic David Brooks-style pseudo-"journalism".

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 10:50:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  One reference does not make research, and any (6+ / 0-)

        Reference to newsmax weakens your argument greatly.

        Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

        by StrayCat on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 11:29:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Let me put it to you this way... (5+ / 0-)

        Your full comment was:

        Do your own google research and check my citations.
        If I "check your citations" and find a big dose of random blogs, Wikipedia, dead links, pure speculation and fringe/conspiracy-theory stuff, the more reputable citations don't matter; it's just a furball of random stuff - and I won't bother with your next diary, because I'll spend twice as much time "checking your citations" as I will reading the diary.

        It shouldn't be the readers' job to vet your sources.

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 12:22:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I believe Rolling Stone covered this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharon Wraight

        Several years ago. But the link is now dead. :(

        I very much support your diary. I do think that making sure all links are from serious sources would insulate you from attacks though. You may still get them from a few, but maybe more support from the people who are undecided.

        It's a pretty tough crowd here, and I don't think your diary was bad at all.

      •  Google As A Point For Credibility? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stellaluna
        "Google research" just means looking up topics using the most popular search engine, that's all.
        "Popular" in this case includes the fact that Google searches return the links that are the most used for each subject, and it is fairly well known (there I go) that those who think conspiratorially, and who are computer literate, do an awful lot of Internet searching for affirmation. I am not accusing you, Betty, but a constant obsessive search for affirmation is a symptom of paranoia. Maybe you should consider refining your research methods...

        You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

        by paz3 on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 02:16:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well said (9+ / 0-)

      CT has a consistent vibe to it; it always has this rambling quality, with so many links peppered throughout that it would be overwhelming to verify them all. The few that I clicked on support what you found.

      Take a diary like this and put it side by side with a diary by someone like Denise, and you'll immediately see the difference. Quotes make sense on their own; each one is clearly cited and comes from a reliable source. I recognized one name here - Seymour Hersch, and that citation is very unclear.

      The other thing that bugs me is how old most of these citations are. You're citing "facts" from 1983?!? Really? On a political website? Unless your diary is specifically about something historical, then you should be able to find 99% of your supporting facts within the last decade at least.

      I agree - CT all the way, and it's a shame that this climbed to the top of the rec list.

      Money should be treated like any other controlled substance; if you can't use it responsibly then you don't get to use it.

      by La Gitane on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 10:10:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I haven't learned a lot of personalities here yet. (8+ / 0-)

    However, this diarist's name is one I recognized immediately.  Before I even opened it I thought o look, another diary by DK's resident anti-Catholic.  I'm not saying it's all false and I am aware of some Opus Dei influence, but I've also learned to take her Vatican-bashing with a huge grain of salt.

  •  Maybe I missed it (10+ / 0-)

    but shouldn't there be some mention in your diary about the new Pope firing the staff of the Vatican Bank and replacing them with new people?

    "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

    by gjohnsit on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 09:58:04 AM PDT

    •  Sigh (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OIL GUY, Bonsai66

      Don't you realize that was just a cover for his handing over the Vatican bank to Opus Dei, a form of Catholic greenwashing, the way that banks got their ultimate insider elected to the senate in Elizabeth Warren?

      Bwa Ha Ha?

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 10:48:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Probably not a cover, President Obama did the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stevenaxelrod, Lonely Texan, gjohnsit

        same thing with the Treasury and the bank regulators.  I am still not sure that he got what he wanted, but to catch a thief you need a policeman, not a thief.

        Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

        by StrayCat on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 11:33:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Although you know what they say about that (0+ / 0-)

          Firemen who are closet pyromaniacs.  Anti-gay activists who are like, um, Marcus Bachmann. Economists who know nothing about money.  And police...  you can see where I'm going with that.

          Given that virtually none of the people who brought the world economy and got rich out of it are in jail, it's unfortunately true that most top financial institutions world wide tolerated some amount of criminality, and got away with it.  The Vatican Bank has been notoriously corrupt for years, but it does not really serve any large constituency outside of Italy.  Its corruption is fairly local.

          So yeah, in this case, you are indeed hiring thieves to catch thieves.  But different thieves with different interests.

          I think that Francis made the best choice available to him.

          Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

          by mbayrob on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 03:11:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Shouldn't the diarist point (4+ / 0-)

      out the deep corruption the bank became involved in under the old leadership and the strong stand Pope Francis has taken to root that out, due to his oft-stated belief that the Church's money should go to support the poor and his many actions both symbolic and substantive to bring that about.

      Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

      by OIL GUY on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 11:03:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mmmm... link salad! (12+ / 0-)

    Many of those links don't say what they're purported to say, or at least include sensible qualifiers where the diarist does not. "Link salad" is a characteristic rhetorical and visual style of much CT meandering, intended to create a kind of overwhelming authority to bolster the typically spurious "connect the dots" illogic.

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 10:22:15 AM PDT

    •  Bingo! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jiffypop, angry marmot

      And the length of the diary also demonstrates an obsessive time investment.  I've never run into any of Betty's diaries before, so when I read this whole thing...a red flag popped up in my head and I checked her diary history.

      They're all anti-Catholic screeds.

      Now, I'm an atheist, so I don't have skin in the religious wars game.  But even so, this diary is pretty much CT and I've HR'd it for that reason.

      This diary appeals to a certain type here at DK, which probably explains how it made the rec list.

      Nothing worth noting at the moment.

      by Bonsai66 on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 02:06:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Re: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bonsai66
        This diary appeals to a certain type here at DK, which probably explains how it made the rec list.
        The positive reaction to this diary is strange, and disappointing. There are a few users amongst the tippers and reccers who would, I think, offer full-throated push back against this sort of wildeyed nonsense if the subject wasn't Opus Dei. Blindspots, I suppose...

        Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

        by angry marmot on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 05:31:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Back when from CNN (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lonely Texan

    CNN: How the GOP Got Catholicized

    They go to a church that has a Latin Mass, Gregorian chant. Sound Dan Brown much?

    Here in Northern Virginia, it's well known that a lot of local conservative pols go to that church in Great Falls. And it is NOT their parish church.

  •  Right wing Catholics & Protestnts cannot stay pals (3+ / 0-)

    Although The Opus Dei wing of the RC Church and the fundamentalist wing of Protestantism currently seem to have a lot of common ground, at least the US, these two variations of Christianity will not be able to stay civil for long - and that's a good thing for anyone who values liberty. They are, in my view, more hostile than even the Sunni and Shia versions of Islam now so intent on massacring each other in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere.

    For all their craziness, right wing Protestants simply cannot surrender their own personal take on the Deity to a hierarchy the way rw Catholics can.

    And I'm not sure if Pope Francis is as connected to Opus Dei if you suggest but there is no doubt of the links between OD and Scalia, Alison, Roberts, Thomas, Santorum, Brownback etc.

    If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks. -Frederick the Great

    by Valatius on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 10:47:24 AM PDT

    •  Well, I would like to see some solid reporting on (0+ / 0-)

      those links.  If they are as. Lamed, then that is alarming.  Both Alito and Roberts lied to congress during their appearances before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Thomas was a joke.  But this does not prove any more than that they are power and status hungry conservatives, not that they are agents of Opus Dei.

      Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

      by StrayCat on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 11:38:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Opus Dei is puttin' a lot of HRs, huh? (0+ / 0-)

    Yeah, they think Jesus likes them.

    Calices... that proves it.

    Ugh. --UB.

    The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

    by unclebucky on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 11:01:44 AM PDT

  •  Hmmmm... buncha numeraries here... n/t (0+ / 0-)

    The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

    by unclebucky on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 11:12:51 AM PDT

  •  Remember, the OD clerics will keep their hands... (0+ / 0-)

    clean.

    "Like many religious cults, the members at the bottom are sincere believers that Opus Dei is the path for personal holiness."

    Sincere believers.

    And what happens when sincere believers get the impression that the sky god is telling 'em to do something?

    They KILL.

    Hence the poison thing is quite plausible without a single cardinal to diocesan priest ever being suspicious.

    Ugh. --UB.

    The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

    by unclebucky on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 11:15:12 AM PDT

  •  Oh noes!! The Papists are coming!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BMScott, Bonsai66, stellaluna

    Won't someone please think of the children!!! And the pies!!!

    If you don't watch news, you're un-informed. If you watch Fox news, you're mis-informed. (paraphrasing Mark Twain)

    by edg on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 12:00:05 PM PDT

  •  Without even reading the diary, I can (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lonely Texan, OleHippieChick

    tip and rec it based on general knowledge of powerful global organizations' (same as global mega-corporations) strategy and tactics with the ultimate goal of perpetuation of the status quo:  

    PLAN A: PROTECT THE MONEY.

    Plan B: See Plan A.

    See Link TV's Spotlight: Sex Crimes and the Vatican

    How children dance to the unlived lives of their parents. Rilke

    by ceebee7 on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 12:28:05 PM PDT

  •  I'm sorry but these CT diaries distract from our.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lepanto, DrSUSE

    reality. There are many unassociated wealthy and powerful groups and individuals all vying to consolidate power and trying to link it all to one nefarious group does more harm than good.

    Does OD exist? Of course. Is it one of the many forces working against our democracy? Very likely. Is it the source of all our woes from the Koch's to Walmart, and the do nothing Congress to the crazy Supreme Court, from the NSA to secret free trade agreements? Not likely.

    I think you have an important kernel of truth here, but have taken it way to far with little supporting evidence which detracts from it on one hand and distracts from the more likely truth on the other.

    As an example:

    Pumapunku is actually very strong evidence for the 'Ancient Alien theory' but the weekly television show piles on so much questionable BS that it becomes hard to take the theory seriously.

    I think you are doing that here...

    When the Republicans are in power they get what they want and when the Democrats are in power they still get what they want. At what point do people finally see it is just theater? ~ Me

    by fToRrEeEsSt on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 12:39:10 PM PDT

  •  secret orgs make it hard to find out what they do (4+ / 0-)

    look at the NSA and the CIA

    part of their power is their secrecy

    the Catholic has been doing this for centuries

    •  tx dw, finally someone states the obvious.... doh! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OleHippieChick

      "The corporate state’s repression, now on the brink of totalitarianism, would with the help of Christie, his corporate backers ... become a full-blown corporate fascism.' http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_trouble_with_chris_christie_20140112

      by SeaTurtle on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 01:42:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Meh. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lepanto

    I'm an atheist and I consider this diary to be CT claptrap.

    HR'd.

    Nothing worth noting at the moment.

    by Bonsai66 on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 01:59:29 PM PDT

  •  Dan Brown, eat your hear out (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Guglielmo, angry marmot

    Betty has discovered the RC Elders of Zion

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 02:56:35 PM PDT

  •  I'm not going to HR this diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kovie

    but I am disturbed by the CT slant. Dkos is better than this. I'm an ex-Catholic married to a Jewish woman. We are raising our son to be aware of his Jewishness but we are not religious. I want him to know that there are many people who will hate him and concoct conspiracies about his ethnicity. Growing up Catholic, I was also subjected to hate.

    Obama 2012 http://whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com/

    by jiffypop on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 04:04:48 PM PDT

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